When a season is irregular, it goes through low moments of form, but also through peaks in which a team feels capable of beating anyone. UCAM tries to stretch this second stage in a tighter regular league final that can return it to the promised land, a Europe that has not gone out to compete for two years and that it is touching with the fingertips .
A goal set from the first day, even in a personal capacity by his coach, Sito Alonso, who marked as his own “failure” everything that was not to achieve it, UCAM’s journey in this atypical season began looking towards it until its entry into a spin with the arrival of 2021 in the form of a Covid-19 outbreak, injuries and an alarming gambling crisis that momentarily made him think more about salvation than about more ambitious goals.
Soar off the ground winning five of their next six games, the two defeats against Valencia and Gran Canaria represented a great missed opportunity to take the initiative in the European fight, one to which the solvent victory against Unicaja the other day (81 -68) returns to put with much to decide yet.
The desire to have four Spanish teams practically guarantees the eleventh to play European competition
With the uncertainty of knowing exactly how many places will win the right to Europe, the recent coronation of Burgos as two-time Champions League champion guarantees their presence next season to revalidate – again – their title. There was also that of Tenerife, although it is rumored that they could have requested to make the jump to the EuroCup, which would leave three free slots, since Patrick Comminos, CEO of the competition, assures that “Spain would have four, it is well known that the ACB is the most competitive league ».
Considering the presence by ‘wild card’ in EuroCup of Valencia, Joventut and Unicaja, and that of the best classified between Gran Canaria and Andorra, if Tenerife finally goes to the EuroCup this would leave three Champions League places to be distributed between Manresa, UCAM and Zaragoza . If Andorra rules out participating in the Champions League in case of not reaching the EuroCup, which is yet to be decided, in which case it would be one more contender.
What seems more certain every day is that there will be 11 teams from the Endesa League that will participate next season in Europe: three in the Euroleague, four or five in the EuroCup and three or four in the Champions League.
Options to solve
Coming out of the draws badly, UCAM is only worth winning. And in this countdown, his first rival will be Andorra, a meeting postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in those of Ibon Navarro, originally dated for today, and finally called for this Saturday after stretching the final of the league for one more week. Those of the Principality have the same number of victories with one game less, and tomorrow they visit Unicaja to arrive on Saturday with equal matches played. Having lost by 18 in the first leg, UCAM should be close to perfection in the event of a final tie for wins.
The one who has the clearest picture is Manresa, eighth right now with 16 victories, but only one game to play against Baskonia on the last day. Zaragoza, who starts from further behind – thirteenth with the same victories as UCAM with one more match -, has two commitments before them: they will receive Tenerife four days before the end of the regular league in Murcia. Between receiving two direct rivals such as Andorra and Zaragoza, UCAM will visit an Obradoiro without Europe or relegation at stake. Difficult, but with plenty of arguments to make it possible.